BOSTON (CBS) – Today’s segment is based on the second book in the series, Your Money Life: Your 30’s by Peter Dunn.

This is a tough decade. You now want the grownup things; marriage, a home, kids.

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According to Dunn, your thirties is the decade when you begin to put down roots, deepen your relationships, and establish your lifestyle. The financial challenges facing you through these years are substantial, often involving marriage, children, job changes, and even divorce or other unforeseen hurdles.

Investment priorities and insurance needs are shifting as you deal with your growing responsibilities and try to keep an eye on your future financial stability. It’s a decade of greater demands on your money, but it’s also a time hopefully of increasing income that will help you reach the goals you envisioned in your twenties.

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The money you invest for retirement in your 30s can determine whether you retire on your terms or your money’s terms. Your insurance needs start to shift as homeownership becomes more common and you definitely have more demands on your income than you did in your 20s. This decade is when your increasing income will allow you to fund the goals you began to envision in your 20s.

The goals for those of you in your 30s:

  • You should be free of student loan debt
  • You should have an emergency fund with at least 3 months of living expenses in it
  • You should be contributing at least 10% of your gross income going toward your company sponsored retirement plan
  • You should have a net worth of $250,000 as you approach your 40th birthday
  • You should be within 15 years of paying off your mortgage
  • You should be saving at least 20% of your take home pay


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If you do do everything Peter Dunn suggests you will indeed be so much better off. So the earlier you start to save and pay down debt the more choices you will have as you go through life.